Drs. Susan Paulson and Catherine Tucker were selected to participate in the 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.
May 3, 2018 — Patricia Alba
Center for Latin American Studies’ (LAS) faculty Susan Paulson and Catherine Tucker have been selected for the 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), The Fulbright Scholar Program offers nearly 500 awards annually to teach and conduct research in over 125 countries.
Paulson, LAS Graduate Coordinator and Associate Director, will conduct research in Ecuador on the project titled Changing Expectations and Challenges of Masculinity Among Ecuadorian Workers. This is Paulson’s third Fulbright award. She was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad award during her graduate studies when she conducted research in Bolivia, 1988-90; and served as a Fulbright Teaching/Research Fellow at the University of Panama in 2006.
This is not Paulson’s first trip to Ecuador. Beginning in the early 90s, Paulson has traveled to the country repeatedly to facilitate workshops, support graduate research, and teach courses at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO). The Fulbright Program, however, affords Paulson the opportunity to conduct field research within the country.
Paulson’s project is a continuation of research conducted over the past 30 years on gender and ethnicity in the Andes. Previous research yielded multiple publications, including Masculinity and Femininities in Latin America’s Uneven Development (Routledge, 2015) and Masculinidades en movimiento. Transformación territorial y sistemas de género (TESEO, 2013). In the coming months, Paulson seeks to complement her previous work with intense on-the-ground fieldwork. Regarding her research, Paulson hopes to show that “men” is a diverse category, and to advance understanding of ways in which variously positioned men struggle with gender expectations and norms, and ways in which men's adaptations and innovations can help to forge healthier gender systems.
Catherine Tucker, LAS and Department of Anthropology, will travel to Honduras to conduct research on the project titled Building Collaborations to Strengthen Honduran Coffee Enterprises Amidst Economic and Environmental Challenges. This project will expand her previous work on environmental and socioeconomic transformations linked to coffee production.
Over the past 17 years, Tucker has looked at how coffee producers have adapted to ongoing changes within the coffee market and to climate change. The findings have been published in Changing Forests: Common Property, Collective Action and Coffee in Honduras (Springer, 2007), Coffee Culture: Local Experiences, Global Connections (Routledge, 2017) and a number of articles. This project will explore the current profusion of different certificates that promise coffee producers better prices for socially just or environmentally friendly coffee, such as Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance. As part of her project, Tucker plans to work collaboratively with various cooperatives to help them assess the outcomes of certifications.
Globally, certified coffee production exceeds demand and cooperatives have difficulty finding buyers willing to pay better prices. Recent data shows only 28% of fair trade certified coffee was sold at fair trade prices (Fair Trade International, 2015). A recent trip to Honduras by Tucker revealed that some cooperatives are not renewing their certificates, and a number are facing steep debts. Despite these discouraging trends, Tucker plans to work with cooperatives to figure out how they may be able to get a better deal in the market.
In addition to her research, Tucker will also teach at the Centro Universitario Regional de Occidente (CUROC). Tucker will work with students in two professional tracks within the university, one in administration of coffee enterprises and another one in economic development. Through her teaching, Tucker hopes to prepare students to enter the workplace having learned to conduct research and be better prepared to develop ties with cooperatives.